Susceptibility of cider apple varieties to foliar-feeding insects

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2019: $8,818.00
Projected End Date: 02/28/2020
Grant Recipient: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Galen Bergquist
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities


  • Fruits: apples


  • Crop Production: agroforestry, crop improvement and selection, foliar feeding
  • Pest Management: cultural control, integrated pest management, prevention

    Proposal summary:

    The production of hard cider is a rapidly growing industry in the North Central region of the United States. The aesthetic appearance of the fruit in hard cider apple production is negligible and so damage from fruit-feeding insect pests is less of a concern. However, foliar-feeding insects still pose a threat, killing young trees and impacting fruit size, yield and sugar content of fruit. To date, pest susceptibility and management research in apple has been done only with fresh-eating varieties. As more cider-specific varieties of apple are planted in the North Central region, knowledge regarding the susceptibility of cider apple varieties to foliar-feeding insects will improve the efficacy of insecticides by allowing growers to utilize plant host resistance to combat these insect pests. We propose a study to screen popular, cider apple varieties for foliar-feeding insect pest susceptibility, leading to the creation of a susceptibility index for each variety and specific knowledge of the timing at which each insect attacks young trees in Wisconsin. These data will provide a foundation for developing low-spray and certified organic disease management strategies for cider apple varieties based on susceptibility to insects.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Screen popular cider-specific varieties for foliage-feeding pest susceptibility
    2. Document pest incidence over the growing season
    3. Develop a pest susceptibility index for each variety and timeline of pest incidence in apple
    4. Share findings with local extension educators, through conference presentations and development of a factsheet
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.